Book Review Of “Grist Mill Road” By Christopher J. Yates @picadorbooks

Grist Mill Road is a dark and twisty Rashomon-style narrative which is expertly plotted. The year is 1982, the setting an Edenic hamlet some 90 miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew and Hannah— are bound together by a single, terrible, and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves could never have predicted, the three meet again–with even more devastating results.

Here is a triple helix of a story structure, a sharp-edged love triangle complete with an Atonement style revelation. Character-driven, gorgeously written and wrenching, it exposes the poisonous resentments, sexual longings, and reservoirs of violence that roil just below the orderly surface of small town life. Like Yates’ critically acclaimed Black Chalk, this too is an “engrossing literary guessing game” one that will keep readers in suspense until the final page (From Goodreads)

Thank you Picador Books for sending me an ARC of this book, in exchange of an honest review.

I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

This is going to be a very hard review to write, as I am just very confused about everything. This book was crazy, intense, and one insane ride. It is told by 3 different people in 1982 and then again in 2008, and then at the very end, what I assume to be present day? The last chapter severely confused me.

Matthew – I would have liked to have read a lot more of his side of things. He was a complex character, and maybe a product of his environment? Maybe mentally unstable?

Hannah – Was very sweet, and I did like her. She was very forgiving of things. Maybe a bit too nice?

Patrick – I am not sure I understood his character all that well. There are a lot of questions I have about him, that really just kind of went un-answered.

They are all very complex, complicated characters. So kudos to the author for writing about 3 drastically dark, and different people.

When I started reading this book, I thought I was in for one thrilling ride. What I actually ended up reading, while thrilling in ways, was not at all what I expected. I almost feel like maybe it was disjointed? At times it seemed like I was reading two different books.

But I will admit, I read this book within 24 hours, there was something that drew me in, and I think it’s the way the story is told, it bounces around in time, it switches back and forth between characters. I found myself turning page after page, because I needed to find out what led up to that day in the woods, with Hannah tied to the tree. I am still trying to figure out my feelings about that. I’m not sure if the ends, justified the means.

I do think that this book is definitely worth the read though. It is different from a lot of books on the market, which that in itself made me enjoy it.

It’s out on Jan. 9th I will include the pre-order link below.

Buy On Amazon, Here